City councillors have demanded a meeting with
government ministers to voice their fury over plans to close two
Coventry level crossings.
They have sharply criticised Railtrack for
failing to consider the wider impact of the closures on roads in the
Railtrack wish to replace the level crossing at
Canley station with a footbridge and the gates at Tile Hill station
with a flyover because modernisation work will increase the number of
trains using the mainline.
This will mean the barriers are down even more
than at present.
Members of the Environment and Transportation
Policy Team today agreed to call for a public inquiry into the
proposals for the £8 million project.
And they resolved to seek a meeting with senior
government figures to express their concerns with the scheme.
They accused Railtrack bosses of failing to
answer requests for evidence of a detailed study of the impact on
traffic in the wider area around the level crossings.
A study carried out by the railway firm has
accepted that there will be a significant increase in traffic in the
Tile Hill area because more cars will be drawn to use the roads as a
shortcut away from the A45.
James Russell, Assistant Director – Strategy
and Planning, told the meeting:
“Railtrack came up with some ideas at least 18
months ago. We told them they needed to give more consideration to
them. Frankly they’ve given very little extra consideration at
Residents in Tile Hill and Westwood Heath
collected petitions with more than 300 signatures against the project,
and have formed a Bridge Action Group to fight the proposals, while
almost 350 people in Earlsdon urged councillors not to consider a
flyover at Canley station as an alternative.
Cllr Lindsley Harvard (Labour, Earlsdon) said
more than 120 people attended a public meeting last week to discuss
He said that people had noticed the “down
times” at the barriers had increased over the last six months, as if
Railtrack were trying to make their point by taking too long to raise
“Canley Gardens has been seen as a part of
Earlsdon but the closure of the level crossing will isolate the
community. It will be a Berlin Wall.”
Cllr Bob Waugh (Labour, Westwood) said:
people who wish to enter into really effective consultation will make
sure that all those affected are informed of the proposals and the
proposals will try to anticipate some of the issues that will be
“Railtrack have carried out the barest minimum
in terms of consultation.
“If we as a city council and as a planning
authority had carried out consultation in this way the ombudsman would
already be opening a file.”